What does a traditional Vietnamese dinner look like?

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OTHER STORIES | Before we go on with traditional Vietnamese recipes, I would like to give a short introduction on Vietnamese dining customs, which are very different from Western ones. Here, after ordering our food at the restaurant, we are usually served one plate per person. If the atmosphere is very familiar, with friends or family members, for example, you may possibly taste your neighbour’s food. In Vietnam, it doesn’t go that way. Dining is a social activity whereby everyone gathers around a table to share a meal and eat from the same dishes. Those are served in the middle of the table, and everyone may take from any dish with chopsticks. A bowl of rice accompanies the meal. So if I post, let’s say, a sautéed vegetables recipe, it would be part of a larger meal with one, two or three other dishes. See it a little bit like tapas or mezze. And, if one day you have the chance to be invited to a Vietnamese banquet (which I really wish for you !), don’t rush on the first plates that will be served. You never know what may come next, and it usually feels like it never stops coming ! Continue reading

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Halloumi ravioli (ραβιόλες)

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Ravioli au halloumi

CYPRIOT RECIPES | I announced this recipe several weeks ago already and here it is, finally. I finally made halloumi ravioli! And I carefully weighed, measured, photographed, timed everything so that I could share the recipe on this blog. How nice it is to make fresh pasta! I almost forgot how relaxing I find it to work with my hands, to knead, shape, touch, blow flour everywhere… Some may think you don’t play with food but I really suggest that you try … it’s almost like pottery. And if kids like to play with their food, there must be a reason for it, right 😉 ? Those ravioli can be served as part of a mezze or of a bigger meal. They are rarely served as just one meal. In fact, Cypriot eating tradition is a little bit like in Vietnam, where we tend to eat a lot different dishes in small quantities, rather than a “one plate meal”. Continue reading

Τζατζίκι (tzatziki)

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tzatziki

CYPRIOT RECIPES | I am still in a Cypriot mood… but I will come back to Vietnamese recipes very soon, right after I make halloumi ravioli, I promise. Not that I am bored with Cypriot food but this blog is still mainly about Vietnamese food. I even have plenty of ideas for 2016. I would really like to dig into my childhood memories, and come up with some classics that are not so easy to order in your regular Vietnamese restaurant around the corner. I would like to research what today’s Vietnamese street food looks like, and try some more sophisticated “fusion” inventions. But shhhhhh … let’s get back to today’s recipe which has nothing to do with all that. Continue reading

Cypriot vegetarian stuffed vine leaves (κουπέπια νηστίσιμα)

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CYPRIOT RECIPES | I wanted to cook … but I wanted to make something Cypriot this time, and had no idea where to find halloumi, real feta cheese or real yoghurt made from sheep’s milk. Well, thanks to the Cypriot cooking class, I found out Brussels has a supermarket specialized in Mediterranean food! Yes, no kidding! The supermarket is named “freshmed” and is located in the rue de l’Escadron in Etterbeek. There, you can find products from Lebanon, Greece, Italy, Morocco and even Cyprus! It is next to the metro station Thieffry, so it is really, very convenient. During my first visit, I found dried mint, sheep yoghurt, halloumi cheese, vine leaves and durum flour (technically the same as what is called “village flour” in Cyprus) … Perfect for making stuffed vine leaves, tzatziki and ravioli! In Cyprus, stuffed vine leaves are called κουπέπια, not δολμάδες like in Greece. They are cooked with tomato sauce and are not served with egg lemon sauce. Today, I am presenting a vegetarian recipe (κουπέπια νηστίσιμα), because there will be lots of opportunities in the near future to cook meat, especially with the holidays approaching! So let’s get started. Continue reading

I tested and loved … Androula’s Cypriot cooking classes

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plat principal du cours du 14 décembre

Monday 14th December’s main course

I TESTED AND LOVED | Hi everyone!

It’s been a while right? Well yes, I spent 6 months abroad and I had no kitchen to keep up with my blog… Well, I did have one, but with no gas to cook… Too bad right? But it doesn’t mean I quit cooking, on the contrary! I left for a traineeship as a cook in a 5-star hotel in Cyprus! And now I just got back to Belgium only ten days ago, but I already miss it so much that when my sister said: “One of my colleagues gives Cypriot cooking classes, do you want to go?”, I was like: “Oh yeaaaaaah, let’s go!” Continue reading

My mum’s phở bò

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PhoBo-7

VIETNAMESE RECIPES | Almost two years ago a colleague gave me the idea of starting a food blog. Curious and whimsical, I went on with the idea, but I never thought I would enjoy it so much. Neither did I think that it would be so challenging. It isn’t just about writing and explaining recipes step by step. You have to constantly interrupt your cooking in order to take photos. Then, those photos need to be classified and edited before being published. But learning all this was so much worth it! A whole new world was opening before my eyes! Just google “food design”, “food photography” or “food art” and you will see that our planet is in a total food frenzy! I spoke to many of you who asked me to create an English version of my blog … and I listened because I was so touched by your interest. Continue reading

Nha Trang, Vietnam

DSC_3221_Nha Trang

PHOTOGRAPHY | Nha Trang in Vietnam